Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory Compliance covers compliance with ethical codes of conduct as well as those promulgated by FINRA and the SEC. Much of the interaction a plan advisor has with plan sponsors and participants is governed by ERISA and agencies like the Department of Labor. But as registered reps or investment advisory reps, their conduct and activity are also regulated by FINRA and the SEC. In turn, broker dealers and registered investment advisors must also adhere to the rules relating to retirement plans, as well as their representatives’ interaction with the investing public. 

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory Compliance

By Fred Barstein6/16/2014 • 0 Comments

Though not directly endorsing the idea of third party audits of RIAs, senior executives at Schwab and TD Ameritrade lobbied Congress last week to consider the idea during the Investment Adviser Association’s lobbying day.


By Fred Barstein5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

The so-called DOL “conflict of interest rule for investment advice” — formerly known as the fiduciary redefinition rule — has been delayed until January 2015. The delay was revealed in a Federal Register posting of the DOL’s semiannual regulatory agenda. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/23/2014 • 0 Comments

Responding to SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher’s suggestion that RIAs should be required to hire third-party examiners, SEC Chair Mary Jo White told the ICI general membership meeting in Washington that she is open to the idea, InvestmentNews reports. White called the idea creative, and suggested that Gallagher should propose the rule. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/14/2014 • 0 Comments

In an extensive interview with ThinkAdvisor's Melanie Waddell, SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher questions the need for the uniform fiduciary rule proposed under Dodd-Frank. Gallagher says that the negative perception of brokers is due in part to the fact that FINRA examines a much greater percentage of brokers than the SEC can. As a result, brokers can be seen as "miscreants" because so many more are cited for issues — while advisors may be seen as pure because so few are cited, partly because such a relatively small number are reviewed. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/13/2014 • 0 Comments

Concerns about the impact and usefulness of the 408(b)(2) summary guide rule proposed by the DOL in March are building and coalescing. Groups representing large plan sponsors and advisors have expressed concern about the proposal. And earlier this year, a coalition of industry groups that includes SPARK, which represents record keepers and DCIOs, was equally apprehensive about the new rules. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/9/2014 • 0 Comments

There are reports that branch managers are using FINRA’s pending recruiting bonus disclosure rules to put the squeeze on reluctant advisors. Claiming that Rule 2243 will be effective by Labor Day, recruiters are pushing advisors to make the move so they don’t have to disclose their bonuses to clients. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/1/2014 • 0 Comments

Utah-based American Pension Services, led by Curtis DeYoung, has been charged by the SEC with fraud, based on an alleged $22 million loss in self-directed IRAs. While DeYoung had no discretion, he allegedly commingled funds, made risky investments in friends’ businesses (some of which ended up in bankruptcy), forged buy direction letters and sent out erroneous account statements. READ MORE

By John Ortman4/27/2014 • 0 Comments

Sometimes a participant can be caught between a rock and a hard place when a qualified plan loan must be repaid upon termination of employment. A recent IRS private letter ruling provides a good illustration, notes a Bryan Cave analysis. READ MORE

By John Ortman4/25/2014 • 0 Comments

A DOL investigation can be time consuming, expensive and potentially damaging to your reputation if the DOL concludes that you have violated an ERISA requirement. But it doesn’t have to be about fear at all, notes David N. Levine, a principal with the Groom Law Group, Chartered, in Washington, DC. You just need to be prepared. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein4/24/2014 • 0 Comments

A group of 150 advisors have sent a letter to the SEC claiming that Rule 2243, which would require advisors to disclose recruiting bonuses, will cause clients more harm than good. The comment period has ended and the SEC has until mid-May to rule, although it can extend that period. The advisors are concerned that the rule would stifle competition and hurt succession planning. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein4/23/2014 • 0 Comments

In the 2014 edition of "The Advisor’s Guide to 401(k) Plans," authors Bruce Tannahill and Louis Richey outline the 12 most common compliance errors compiled by the IRS. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein4/22/2014 • 0 Comments

Concerned about the costs and questioning whether the rule is necessary, an industry group asked the DOL to delay the rulemaking process it began last month requiring covered service providers to furnish a 408(b)(2) summary guide. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein4/14/2014 • 0 Comments

The DOL’s expanded fiduciary definition rule could reduce retirement savings by 20%-40%, according to a study commissioned by Davis & Harman LLP on behalf of a coalition of financial services organizations, including banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms and mutual funds that service the retirement industry. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein4/11/2014 • 2 Comments

Perceiving that his mission has little to no chance of succeeding, FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum admitted to the Wall Street Journal April 10 that he is backing off his quest to oversee RIAs. READ MORE

4/7/2014 • 0 Comments

On April 4, 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-19 as a follow-up to Revenue Ruling 2013-17 regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in the U.S. v. Windsor DOMA case. READ MORE

By John Ortman3/26/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s been two weeks since the DOL issued its proposal to require a new 408(b)(2) fee disclosure summary, and we’re now starting to see the deeper, “second-day” analyses from the law firms that serve the retirement plan market. One of the best of these deeper dives, from the Groom Law Group, describes several new requirements in the March 12 proposed rule that go beyond the new 408(b)(2) summary guide. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein3/19/2014 • 5 Comments

To help out the SEC with the low percentage of RIA examinations, fi360 is offering to use its CEFEX process to increase the number of members that are reviewed. READ MORE

By John Iekel3/13/2014 • 4 Comments

Saying that she is troubled by 401(k) providers that are circumventing the 408(b)(2) fee disclosure rule’s demands, EBSA’s Phyllis Borzi warned providers March 11 that they need to do a better job at following the rule’s requirements to provide information that is easy to understand. READ MORE

By Craig Hoffman3/12/2014 • 0 Comments

The Department of Labor released its long-promised proposal to require that a guide or summary accompany a covered service provider’s 408(b)2) disclosures on March 11. The final 408(b)(2) regulations, which became effective July 1, 2012, left this question open, with the DOL promising to revisit the issue in the future. Release of the March 11 proposed rule makes good on that promise. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein3/10/2014 • 0 Comments

An RIA association thinks that FINRA is going to make a play to oversee investment advisers, calling the effort “inevitable” but not “imminent.” READ MORE

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